Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Pansy Panic

This week Katherine at Yellow Rose Arbor shared some of her beautiful past painting projects. I left a comment to tell her how much I enjoyed seeing her work and encouraged her to pick up her brush and pursue her talent once again. I told her that I had done tole painting when my now-grown children were very young and that, perhaps, someday I would share the story of my pansy painting. The one my daughter decided to 'taste'! Katherine responded by asking me to share the story. So, Katherine, here's what happened.

One day when my daughter was around two years old - give or take a few months - I put her down for her afternoon nap. My nearly five-year-old son played and entertained himself nearby. All was quiet. Just a few days before I had returned home from my tole painting class with a new treasure-in-progress. A small canvas on which I had painted a bunch of pansies. Several colors. Blue, yellow, red and purple. A new venture for me to paint on canvas. In oil. I planned to frame and display my work when the oil paint was completely dry. I needed to put it in a safe place until it had dried - a place where it would be protected from dust, things that might fall on it and curious little people! The top of the refrigerator seemed to work. All was fine until the day in question. I chose nap and quiet time that day to take the painting down from the refrigerator top to add a few touches of this and that. To finish my precious painting. I was very happy with my work so far. I could visualize the finished project. Framed. Hanging in a special place in my home.

Final touches were added. I was pleased. But, somehow, I was distracted. I left the kitchen. With the painting on the little table where I had been working on it. A short time later I entered the kitchen to find my little daughter, awake from her nap, dressed in just her T-shirt and underwear, standing on a kitchen chair at the table. I couldn't believe what I saw. I was horrified! Her little mouth and face were covered with paint. Oil paint. Blue, yellow, red and purple! When I looked at my what-had-been-beautiful pansy painting I could hardly believe my eyes. All the colors were smeared. Running together with hardly a sign of form or design left. There she stood, so proud of herself. She had decided to taste it!

After getting her cleaned up, followed by a quick call to the pediatrician's office, it appeared that she had not been affected by the paint. I knew what to watch for and how to handle any adverse affects of her tasting party. But that's not the end of the story! The painting? What did I do with the painting? I remembered how my teacher had helped another student correct a major problem during a recent class. I washed the entire canvas with turpentine, removing anything that was not dry. The main form of the pansies was in tact. The next day I sat at the kitchen table again during nap time. Carefully, so carefully, I redid what had been lost. The pansies looked beautiful again. Soon they would be dry, be framed and on display in my home. This time the background was more colorful than before. This time it included slight smudges of all of the colors of the pansies, stems and leaves. Perfect. As if done on purpose. No one would know it wasn't part of the original plan. I put it up on the refrigerator immediately. No chance for a repeat performace. You can be sure it wasn't going to happen again.

What happened to my daughter? Nothing. She was fine. No sign of any problem. I doubt she has ever tried to taste paint again. What happened to my painting? It dried, was framed in a lovely frame and hung with pride in that home and two others where we lived as she grew up. I always loved the way it turned out - the second time. More than the first. Every time I looked at the painting I not only saw the lovely pansies, I saw my sweet little girl from long ago. Never to be quite the same as the day she tasted the pansies. Unfortunately the painting didn't survive the move to this house. It disappeared. But it will always live in our memories. Memories of a lesson learned. The hard way!


Artwork: 'Pansies'

Painted by Pamela Gladding

Compliments of art.com

12 comments:

  1. What a sweet story, Adrienne! Thank you for sharing, I know others will enjoy it as well. I think that's another chapter of the book you need to write! The title could be "Looks good enough to eat!!!" I'm so happy it had a happy ending, maybe it will show up again someday.

    Katherine

    (We are off to Jacksonville, be back late tonight, I just had to send you a quick note!)

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  2. Hi Adrienne! Oh, what a precious story! That little stinker! Kids are just so funny! Too bad you still don't have the painting, I would love to see it. Thanks for the sweet little story!
    Be a sweetie,
    Shelia ;)

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  3. I'm so glad your daughter was fine after sampling the oil paints! And your painting was even better the second time around. I love happy endings! :)

    Gina

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  4. What a sweet story!!
    I love your art work your so talented!
    Diane

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  5. Hi! Here is a quite new blog for me. I have never been here before.
    I found your blog by visiting Mimi
    in "listen to grammie".
    I like your blog. So much beautiful in here! I haven't seen all yet, but I'll be back to read more later.
    I also can see that you are a christian, and so am I.
    Thank you for all you have to share on your blog.
    Greetings from Norway.

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  6. What a precious story . . . one I'm sure you will never let her forget! :)

    I just had a chance to look at the view from your window. How beautiful! Your cobalt glass blends in so well with your new umbrella (or is it the other way around).

    Blessings and hugs!

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  7. Ah, Adrienne. I love this story. Maybe she was giving your pretty pansies a sweet kiss.

    Such sweet memories.

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  8. What a precious story, Adrienne! I love pansies and I know your painting must have been beautiful!
    ~Kelli

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  9. Morning, Adrienne. Thank you for stopping by my den. You're welcome to pop in at any ole time you want.
    Be a sweetie,
    Shelia ;)

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  10. Adrienne,
    Did you not receive the message I wrote about this Wednesday? I don't see it anywhere. I wrote a long message to you! Did I send it privately?

    I love the story!

    Katherine

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  11. Dear Adrienne
    What a cute story! Ididn't know you were a painter. Hope youhad a good weekend.
    Rhondi xo

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  12. Now I see it!! Gosh, maybe I do need to start wearing my glasses all the time!! LOL! Was it here all the time, when I wrote that second message?? My husband says I can't see anything in the refrigerator! I look for something and it isn't there, then he looks and voila, there it is!! ;-)

    Katherine

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